Analec Rosat Brut Nature
When we saw our friends Eva and Nuria Bonet a few summers ago at Celler Comalats we casually asked if there might be some Cava in the general area that they liked. Eva told us about her friend Susi, making wine in the nearby Vall del Corb. (Nuria just blew a kiss into the air and said, "their rosat is the best!") So not long after, I called, then went to meet Susi and taste some wine. She greeted me warmly on a sunny fall day, and then introduced me to her high school English teacher, Conchita, who had made herself available to translate because, according to her, Susi really wasn't that good of a student.
Susi put her hands on her hips, locked me into a serious staredown, and said to me, "Look, I know Eva thinks this is Cava, but it is not. These are just typical Catalan Vi Escumós--straight up sparkling wines. They're made like Cava, follow all the rules of Cava, and look, feel, and act like Cava."
So what's the deal then? Why aren't they Cava?
"Our village never filed the right paperwork 20 years ago," she explained. "So, we can't call it Cava." (hands up, frustrated) "And that's just how it is..."
Yeah, but does the wine taste good? Well, who cares then? I sure don't.
Ready to disgorge!
But here's what I do care about--Susi's wines are super delicious, and ridiculously inexpensive too. Her family vineyards are at about 550 meters, essentially among the highest elevation vines in Catalonia, and a necessary ingredient when cultivating enough acid to make refreshing, sparkling wine. They make just 20,000 bottles a year among 5 different sparkling wines. For a massive producer like Codorniu and Freixenet, this would be nothing more than a rounding error.
I've often wondered if Cava could be made on a farmhouse scale. And at Susi's Celler Analec, I found my answer - yes, indeed.
This is the wine that made Nuria blow air kisses. Crafted from a little little-known grape called Trepat, this for me was like drinking a pale pink sparkling tropical fruit juice, only bone dry and refreshing (Cava should never be sweet). Drink this stuff ice cold. Greet your friends at dinner parties with it, or serve it with dessert. It is flat out awesome.